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Storage Review

Gear up for a Full Day of Fishing with the Simms Headwaters Backpack (continued)

Real World Tests: To test the Headwaters FDP I employed the pack on everything from carrying gear when riding shotgun in bass boats on the Delta, to hiking in the backcountry and even a trip to the Big Island of Hawaii where it accompanied me on all my fishing adventures from the scenic shoreline.

The pack is comfortable to wear and fish in

Operation: The Simms Headwaters FDP was home to many of my electronics and tackle boxes when I went fishing on other angler’s boats on the Delta, and I found that in this situation the pack offered plenty of capacity. The fabric used on this pack is not only abrasion resistant but also has a DWR (durable water repellant) coating that makes it hydrophobic. While this will not stop the pack from getting wet in a deluge it will shield your valuable contents from boat spray and light rain.

The pack is ergonomically shaped with a rigid back to curve to your back

In the backcountry or on the shores in Hawaii I found the Headwaters FDP capacity to be just enough to hold all my tackle, some snacks and water, tools and a light hoodie or windbreaker. If I was out for any more than a day I would definitely need more capacity. The modular system does add some extra capacity, especially for frequently accessed flies and lures but these optional accessory packs don’t come cheap, but that doesn’t change the fact that the “Catch and Release” system’s ability to attach the pack to either the back or front of the pack is a very clever and beneficial design.

Hiking from one destination to the next in Hawaii

The heaviest I ever loaded this pack up to was 22 pounds (including the weight of the pack itself) which included extra tackle, a laptop and SLR camera gear. Even with this much weight on my back the pack still felt comfortable thanks to the well-padded straps and the ergonomically shaped rigid backplate, which prevents anything in the bag from digging into your back. In addition the Headwaters FDP promotes airflow along all worn surfaces with a mesh design over a well reinforced textured padding.

In light rain the pack will keep all your gear secure and dry

When fully loaded the oversized belt is a very welcome addition as it effectively takes some of the weight off the shoulder straps. There is also hidden storage areas in the belt section, and on the shoulder straps there are zones to bolt on retractors right on the front of the pack. The bottom line, there are a plethora of options in which to quickly and easily strap on accessories onto the FDP.  

The pack had plenty of capacity for gear beyond just tackle

While the Simms Headwaters FDP does a lot of things very well there are also things that I wish it could do better. While I really like the way the large main compartment is organized there were times that I wished there was a mid-sized compartment on the lower back section of the pack where I could put my frequently accessed items like packable raingear and tools.

Need more capacity or want to add a bag to the front of the pack?

There is a small compartment at the top of the pack but I found that I mainly stored items like my keys, wallet and sunglasses in this section, and there just wasn’t any more room for mid-sized items. I could stuff everything in the main compartment but this made it harder to access other items like tackle boxes so in most cases I would just strap my apparel to the outside of the pack. The other thing I would like to see is another adjustable cord on the left side of the pack so that two rod tubes could be strapped on versus just the one.

Simms has you covered with the easy to use "Catch and Release" system

Next Section: A worthy price to pay?









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